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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Lenovo will launch Ashton Kutcher

Back in October, Lenovo signed up Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher as a product engineer. And this year the company will launch its first range of tablets designed by Kutcher, Lenovo has said.

Lenovo’s chief marketing officer David Roman told Re/code about the company’s plans. He insists it’s not a publicity stunt, but that Kutcher will actually have a hand in the devices’ user experience. “I know on one level it sounds corny, but it is real,” Roman said. “He not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it.” Well if that’s his bag, I’ve got a dodgy wireless router he can have a look at.

It sounds like it’ll be a world away from the usual celebrity partnerships that tech companies enter into. I’m thinking of BlackBerry and Alicia Keys, and Polaroid and Lady Gaga.

But then Kutcher does have better tech credentials than most other slebs. He studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa — though he dropped out — and has also invested in tech services including Foursquare, Airbnb, and Uber. Last year, he played Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs.

Let’s just forget about Dude, Where’s My Car?

When Lenovo signed Kutcher up, he said: “This partnership with Lenovo brings together my love of technology and design that makes your life better. I can’t wait to dig in and help Lenovo develop future mobile computing products.”

Lenovo is currently buying Motorola from Google, so we could see Kutcher-designed Motorola goods before the year is out. He won’t have a hand in Project Ara — the modular mobile project — as Google has held onto the division responsible for it.

What would you like to see him do? Or should celebrities leave tech well alone? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Update: The development agreement Lenovo has with Ashton Kutcher is for tablets only, and not for smartphones. This story has been corrected to reflect that.

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